While we are already at the forefront of sustainability in our industry, we are constantly looking at ways of mitigating climate change and increasing the recycled material content of stainless steel.
Coming full circle with the world’s most sustainable stainless steel
Strengthening the global circular economy with 100% recyclable, sustainable and long-lasting stainless steel
Sustainability is the beating heart of everything we do at Outokumpu. We are committed to a circular economy model with our sustainable, 100% recyclable, long-lasting and resource-efficient stainless steel because we are working towards a world that lasts forever.
Over 90% recycled material content in our stainless steel – and we are aiming even higher
Did you know our products almost fully use recycled steel from both stainless and carbon steel as a raw material? In fact, we have the highest-recycled material content rate in the industry of over 90%, which includes steel scrap and waste streams from our production. This significantly reduces the need to extract new minerals and ores from the ground and minimises the environmental impact of our production processes.
Nothing goes to waste: Creating by-products from stainless steel production
Outokumpu's vision is to have waste-free stainless steel production. We approach this by reducing the total volume of landfill waste from our own operations and increasing the proportion of materials sold as by-products. We are constantly finding ways to recycle and reuse the waste generated during steelmaking and transform them into something useful.
Our biggest waste items are unused slag, tailing sand from mining operations, as well as sludge, dust and scales from production. We have innovated to develop slag-based products for road construction, refractory and concrete production, as well as water treatment. By-products made of slag mineral reduce the amount of waste generated by steel, save virgin raw materials and lead to lower CO2 emissions.
Reimaging the life-cycle of steel – 2.6 million tonnes recycled annually
We recycle the equivalent of the weight of 250 Eiffel towers annually. In fact, only at Outokumpu's Tornio mill — the largest material recycling centre in Europe — we recycle over one million tons of metals per year. All our stainless steel mills are significant recycling facilities, producing new products out of recycled steel, recovering and recycling everything reasonable in our production, and finally selling by-products from the production process to replace natural resources.